Influences Outside the Cell
Genetic mutations underpin cancer initiation and
development in most cases. However, interactions between
cancer cells and their environment—known as the tumor
microenvironment—as well as interactions with systemic
factors, also play an important role in cancer development
(see sidebar on Cancer Growth: Local and Global Influences, p.
22). Therefore, developing a more comprehensive, whole-
patient understanding of cancer has the potential to provide
novel approaches to cancer prevention and treatment.